For many, many years, when I lived in Boston, I spent my Thanksgiving holidays with my extended family in Seattle. It was an easier trip to make (half the time it took to fly from Boston to Hawaii) especially when I knew I would be in Hawaii a few weeks later.
Among the many favorite dishes at our Thanksgiving dinner was this salad from Canlis Restaurant. “A salad?” you ask. Well, a recent article on Eater.com made the case for salad at Thanksgiving. The intent was not to make the meal more healthy, but rather, “A bite of crunchy greens offers a bright reset, letting me go back for seconds.“
While I never had a meal at Canlis, this salad will forever be associated with warm memories of family around a crowded table, sharing stories, and laughing. Who knew it was also helping me eat more at the Thanksgiving table.
What makes this salad special?
On the surface, this seems to be a fairly basic romaine salad with some bacon bits, croutons, and a vinaigrette. But this basic salad is boosted to the next level with abundant amounts of fresh mint, fresh oregano, and pecorino romano cheese.
The creamy, tangy dressing is the other important component of this salad. It contains two key ingredients. First, it is necessary to use fresh lemon juice (don’t use the bottled stuff). Second, is the egg. Although the original recipe uses a raw egg, I am wary of the possibility of salmonella and I use a coddled egg instead.
Are there any shortcuts?
For a special occasion, there is little I would change about this recipe. It is worth taking a few extra moments to make everything from scratch. But for an everyday version (please forgive me) you could buy a pre-washed romaine salad mix and pre-made croutons. And in a real time crunch, you could buy off-the-shelf bacon bits – but at least buy the real bacon bits, not the imitation stuff. You must still make your own dressing, use fresh herbs, and pecorino romano cheese.Print
This salad from Canlis Restaurant in Seattle proves that simple things are sometimes the best. This recipe is a modified version of one published by Saveur.
For the dressing
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the croutons
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 slices country white bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the salad
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 cup grated pecorino
1 cup mixed red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup mint leaves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons oregano leaves
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
2 romaine hearts, cut crosswise into 1″ strips
To make the dressing
If you are comfortable with using a raw egg you may skip ahead to step #3.
Separate the egg and place the egg yolk in a microwave-safe cup, discard the white or save for another use. Add the ½ teaspoon lemon juice and ¾ teaspoon water and combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until the mixture bubbles (about 30 seconds). Carefully remove the plastic and stir with a clean fork. Replace the plastic wrap and cook until it bubbles again, about 15 seconds, and let it bubble for 5 to 10 more seconds. Stir again with another clean fork. Let cool to room temperature.
Whisk together egg mixture (or raw egg) and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly to make a smooth vinaigrette. Season with pepper; set aside.
To make the croutons
Heat oven to 325°. Toss butter, oregano, thyme, bread, and garlic together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring frequently, until croutons are golden, about 15 minutes. Set croutons aside to let cool.
To assemble the salad
In a 10″ skillet, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook until bacon crisps but do not overcook, about 5 minutes; let cool.
Just before serving toss bacon, reserved croutons, vinaigrette, and remaining ingredients in a large salad bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Salads
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 538.64
- Sugar: 4.26 g.
- Sodium: 1558.61 mg.
- Fat: 34.66 g.
- Saturated Fat: 14.62 g.
- Carbohydrates: 25.58 g.
- Fiber: 4.94 g.
- Protein: 31.82 g.
- Cholesterol: 138.69 g.
Keywords: Canlis Restaurant